Friday, July 06, 2007

He doth protest too much

By Michael J.W. Stickings

President respects justice

Yes, Melissa, it's an actual headline.

In USA Today, no less.

Above some post-Libby "bullshittery" (Melissa's word) from the man whose job it is to defend the indefensible day after day after day, Bush spokesman Tony Snow.

It's a hilarious read. Seriously.

Consider: "[N]o president in recent history has made more careful use of the pardoning power than George W. Bush: The president believes pardons and commutations should reflect a genuine determination to strengthen the rule of law and increase public faith in government."

Uh-huh. Define "recent," "careful," "strengthen," etc. Or don't. What do I care? It's not like Tony has any credibility to begin with.

And the brownnosing here is gross, if typical. Seriously, Tony has his nose stuck firmly in Bush's ass: "[H]e did what he does normally, and what makes those of us who work for him proud. He proceeded on the basis of principle, and arrived at a sound and just decision — knowing he would take hits in the court of public opinion, but also knowing he was doing the right thing."

Right. Sure, Tony. Whatever. Your boss essentially pardoned one of his cronies. That's his "principle," that's "doing the right thing".

I'll leave further analysis -- such as one can hold the side-splitting laughter in check long enough to do any serious analysis -- to Steve Benen, who does his best. (Well done, Steve. You're a real trooper. Seriously.)

But let me just say this. Tony and the White House may or may not have been responsible for the headline. Maybe USA Today came up with it, maybe the White House suggested it -- who knows? (Do let me know if you know.)

Either way, what does it say about the state of the Bush presidency that it was deemed necessary to assert, even in a headline in a crappy (albeit hugely popular) newspaper, that the president of the United States "respects justice"? (Even if we lack a full understanding of justice in a genuinely Socratic sense, we generally get what justice means.) Should it not be taken as a matter of course that the president "respects justice"?

Apparently not. Not with this president.

This president has fucked up so badly, and fucked justice so thoroughly (the Libby thing is just the latest grotesquerie), that his shameless flacks have to go public with waves upon waves of sycophantic bullshittery.

Seriously, enough already.

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